The UN Refugee Agency and UNICEF are setting up 20 centers to support and protect children and families fleeing war and persecution as they move across Europe’s well-worn migration routes. The centers, known as Blue Dot Hubs, are intended to provide a safe place for children and families facing risks once they arrive in Greece and move along the Balkan migratory route, which includes the former republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia. In these hubs, children can play and their families can receive services and counseling.
This initiative was set up to address the vulnerability of these populations, especially the many unaccompanied children who become separated from their families. These children are at risk of sickness, trauma, sexual exploitation, trafficking and violence. The first Blue Dot Hubs began operating about 2 weeks ago, and since that time, 40 to 50 separated children are being reunited with their parents every day. It is expected that all 20 hubs will be operational in the next three months.